Monday, January 25, 2010

Writing Exercise - Dream Solution

Since I don't have a convenient excuse to avoid doing the writing exercise on C. M. Mayo's site tonight (other than I'm probably going to seriously time out) I'm going to have a go at another one.

January 26 "Dream Solution"
Your character has a nightmare. But in the middle of it, he or she creatively solves the problem. For example, Ted dreams that he is being backed to the edge of a cliff by someone coming at him with a saber. All of a sudden, Ted realizes that the saber is made out of the same tin foil his wife used to wrap up the peanut butter cookie dough for the freezer, and so, he sits down and starts playing the kazoo. Hey, have fun! What is your character's nightmare, and what is his or her "dream solution"? List as many as you can think of in 5 minutes.

My concern here, is that I'm not sure what my characters' nightmares are, much less how they resolve them. But I'll give it a go.

And... start:

Erin gasped as she stared at the sky. Women were falling from the heavens. "That's not it", she thought to herself. "It's the same woman. Hundreds, thousands of the same woman are falling from the sky throughout the city." Without thinking, she leapt from the precipice she stood on, and caught one of them, but just a few feet to the side was another. And another next to her. And more, and more.

She caught movement out of the corner of her eye, and Erin turned to look. The woman next to her had been caught by... well, by Erin. Across the city, Erin dived from rooftops and billboards. She swung in on grappling lines, catching the multitude of the single falling woman. Each and every one.

There's one character down. After reading it, I'm not sure if I was as clear as I'd have liked. Erin's nightmare is a falling woman, one that she didn't save. So her nightmare is an impossible task - the same woman falling a thousand times at once. But the solution is that an army of her, one of her for every falling woman appears. I think it means that she has to understand that one person can only do so much, and to trust herself and others more.

John looked down at himself was disgust. The filthy flesh that comprised his body was decaying before his eyes. It was putrid and rank, covered in open sores and crawling with insects. But he couldn't help trying to pick a it. Removing a large chunk, he found cool, steel underneath.
And... time.

And there's another one, though I'm not sure I had a chance to do justice to him in the time I had left. John (or J.O.H.N.) is me playing around with another type of character from science fiction and comics - the robot that wants to be human. John managed to achieve his wish, but it was the worst thing that ever happened to him. The decay and putrefaction he sees is his own self-loathing for what he's become. But underneath it all, he's still the same being he was.

I think I surprised myself with that one. I was expecting to have a hard time with it, but once I thought about what my characters' nightmares were, I came up with dreamlike solutions a lot more quickly than I thought.

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